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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Open slather on information about the oldies

If grandma or grandpa were ever of the slightest interest to the FBI, "Get Grandpa's FBI File" will certainly help you add a few details to the family tree.

There is much agonising in Australia about whether a dead person's personal information is subject to privacy laws (it is in NSW law that applies to the public sector for up to 30 years); you might be able to get a deceased's birth, death or marriage certificate if you can jump through the hoops; and the occasional Freedom of Information application for information about a dead person may or may not produce some results, depending on who applies and what the documents contain.

But there's certainly nothing like this service: type in the details, including where the oldies might have been in an antiwar protest, pro communist rally, or smuggling booze, and the website will generate an automatic letter to the FBI. Proof of death is required - but you don't have to worry if the person was born 110 years ago.

The FBI is happy to provide whatever they have free of charge for the first 100 pages.

Not a bad service.

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